Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pens v Islanders (L 2-3)

This was the second game in a row where the Penguins gave up a 2-0 lead to lose by a goal. The game started out with legends Bill Torrey and Scotty Bowman coming out to drop the first pucks. It was a night for legends, as 75 year old, 4 time Stanley Cup winning coach Al Arbour signed a deal to coach the Islanders for one night only in order to push his number of games coached up to 1,500. At the beginning of this game, there was a banner hanging from the rafters at the Nassau Veterens Colliseum proclaiming Arbour's 739 wins. Following tonight's win, they will be taking that banner down and adjusting it to reflect Arbour's new total of 740 wins. Here's what went down.

Congratulations on 1,500 games and your 740th win, Mr. Arbour.

The Penguins wore their black home jerseys during this away game. Less than 30 seconds into the first, Evgeni Malkin took a penalty for dragging a man down. Absent from the Pens' penalty kill is Colby Armstrong, who was a healthy scratch for the night. Saint Sid took his place during this first Islanders power play. Jordan Staal was a beast on this penalty kill, as well as on the other Islanders power plays the rest of the night. The Islanders would not capitalize on this power play. Mike Comrie was having a great night. He intercepted the puck on a play and charged towards the net to take a shot on goal, but Marc-Andre Fleury denied him the goal. Later, MAF risked taking a penalty himself when he made a weird play that was almost in the no play zone while Bill Guerin was bearing down on him.

Shortly after that, the Pens almost got an empty net goal after dumping the puck towards Islanders netminder Rick DiPietro because the puck took a weird bounce and went in a totally different direction than DiPietro had anticipated. He was way out of the crease on the left side of his net when the puck went towards the net on the right side. Unfortunately for us, an Islanders defenseman was able to get there just in time to clear the puck. Later, the Islanders would get called for interference. Petr Sykora took the injured Ryan Whitney's place on the power play. With 3 seconds left on the advantage, Ryan Malone was able to make the first mark on the scoreboard. Incidentally, the Pens have scored at least one power play goal in all 13 games they've played so far this season. (The record for the Pens is 14 games straight.) Then, the Pens took a penalty for holding, but the Islanders would not score on this chance, either. Following that, the Islanders took a penalty for interference. The Pens could not score. Towards the end of the first, the play was becoming more and more physical. The period would end with the Pens leading 1-0.

The Penguins' top line celebrates the first goal of the night.

During the first intermission, there was a commercial for a program that I thought some of you might be interested in watching. It's on all FSN channels tomorrow (Sunday) night at 9:00pm. It's called The Science of Sports, and on this particular episode, they will be examining what happens to athletes' bodies when they are on the receiving end of a cheap shot. The preview showed a couple of hockey's most infamous dirty hits, so I thought I would pass this along to you. It looks like it will be an interesting program.

The second period began with Brendan Witt being stripped of the puck, which lead to a shot by Malone, but DiPietro closed the door. A few minutes later, Tyler Kennedy fired a shot through traffic that hit one of the posts, but had Gary Roberts tossing his hands up in celebration. It was called a no goal, and play continued for a full 2 minutes and 51 seconds until FINALLY a whistle was blown. Of course, the referees called the War Room in Toronto to review the play, and ultimately it was decided that Kennedy did in fact score his first NHL goal. Following the call that put the Pens up by 2, the Islanders were stunned. Without the skillful play of DiPietro, the next 3 minutes would have seen the Penguins take at least a 5-0 lead. Momentum seemed to shift when Malone took an interference penalty that really seemed like a bad call. During the resulting power play, Staal made a particularly great save. Later Trent Hunter would be able to capitalize on a bad bounce from a pass that Sid was trying to bounce off the boards behind MAF. Instead of going around the cage as intended, the puck bounced out in front of MAF where Hunter just happened to be in position. The score was 2-1.

Sid's about to get in a bit of trouble...

Sidney found himself earning the scorn of the fans more than halfway through the second period. He was in position in front of DiPietro waiting for a chance to redirect a shot when his stick was lifted by the stick of Radek Martinek. The blade of Sid's stick went through the cage of DiPietro's mask and into DiPietro's eye. He went down in a heap and Sid was assessed a goaltender interference penalty. DiPietro left the ice to receive medical attention in the locker room, but had to return a few minutes later to show the refs the damage so a proper penalty time could be issued to Sid. DiPietro's wound was approximately the size of an M&M candy, but it was a wound nonetheless and resulted in Sid being given a four minute penalty. During the wait, the crowd began a deafening chant of "@$$hole, @$$hole" aimed at Sid, despite the fact that his stick was helped into DiPietro's face by Martinek. Needless to say, the fans were quite pleased when it was announced that our captain would be benched for 4 minutes.

Through amazing efforts by MAF, Alain Nasreddine, Adam Hall, Maxime Talbot, and Sergei Gonchar in particular, the Pens were able to kill this four minute penalty. Since a faceoff was needed with only 1 second left on Sid's penalty, Martinek was positioned directly in front of the penalty box door to prevent Sidney from getting a breakaway chance upon his release. The second period ended with the Pens leading 2-1.

Sid gears up to take a shot.

Immediately after the third period began, the Islanders got away with a little interference. The Penguins would later turn the puck over to Josef Vasicek who streaked down the ice towards MAF. Pens d-men Nasreddine and Darryl Sydor covered Vasicek well - too well. Miroslav Satan coolly came down the middle behind them, and Vasicek passed the puck to Satan who scored unchallenged. It was a brand new hockey game with a 2-2 tie. Immediately afterwards on the next play, Sid almost took the goal back when he blasted a shot on goal, but the puck hit the post and stayed out of the net.

Malkin took a dumb penalty as he hooked a man while he fell. The Islanders didn't score on the advantage, though. The desperation of both teams increased significantly in the last minutes of the third period. It would pay off only for the Islanders, however, when Satan scored his second goal of the game with only 2 minutes and 41 seconds left to go in the period. Immediately afterwards, Sid got an opportunity on an open net, but the puck hit the post. The Pens made a valiant attempt to even it up and force overtime by pulling MAF and opting to use an extra attacker, but the period ended, and therefore the game ended with the Islanders winning the game with a final score of 2-3.

FYI: Don't miss Friend of The Show Christina L.'s transcript of Sid's interview with The Hockey News magazine. Even if you've already had a chance to read it here on TSCS, check it out again - I just added the pictures that are in the magazine that were scanned in by Friend Amanda T. (Scroll down to the very bottom of the post to see the late edit with the photos.) Many thanks again for the work, ladies!!! :)

Labels: ,

Creative Commons License
The Sidney Crosby Show
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
(Based on all work at